"The Specification and Integration of Interneurons into Forebrain Circuitry"
Gordon Fishell, PhD
Julius Raynes Professor of Neuroscience, Associate Director of the NYU Neuroscience Institute
My laboratory is interested in the developmental steps that allow the startling repertoire of interneurons to develop and integrate into the developing nervous system. This process begins with their specification during which genetic programs initiated within progenitors relegate interneurons into specific cardinal classes. Subsequent to this neuronal activity is fundamental for both the laminar positioning, as well as the dendritic and axonal arborization of at least some interneuron subtypes. These results suggest that sensory information complements earlier established genetic programs to shape the way interneuronal subtypes integrate into nascent cortical circuits. The challenge moving forward is to understand how genetically similar interneuron subtypes are able to incorporate into diverse circuitries as different as the inhibitory circuitry that makes up the basal ganglia versus the excitatory circuits that make up the cerebral cortex.